I'm coming into this tournament with fresh optimism. Sure, Maria just got a bit of a beatdown, but she made a final that none of us expected, played pretty well in every match before the final, and importantly, managed to sustain a reasonable serve standard throughout the tourament, not perfect, but improved.
There's currently a thread in GM about the top 5's trajectories in the last year, and it made me realise something nice. Currently, Maria has 7560 points. Coming out of last years AO, she had less than 3000 (2936) - an improvement of over 4600 points. That's seriously awesome, considering the lower end top 10 players don't even have 4600 points. All is not well, but it sure as hell isn't the doom and gloom we all felt the other day!